New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul seemingly is ready to play Sunday against Tampa Bay.

All he has to do is convince the Giants' medical staff to let him play with the right hand that he injured in a fireworks accident on July 4.

Pierre-Paul picked up his workload at practice Wednesday and seemed confident he would be able to return to his Pro Bowl form. He lost his index finger in the accident and had a couple of other fingers damaged.

A confident Pierre-Paul said he has been able to shed blockers and grab opponents since rejoining the team last week, and practicing for the first time since being injured. He expects opponents to test him and he vows to be ready.

"Yeah, I want to play, yeah," Pierre-Paul said. "But it's up to the medical staff; like I said, they're taking me slowly."

Coach Tom Coughlin insisted that the team will not rush Pierre-Paul back.

"If he's ready, we'll play him," Coughlin said. "If he's not ready, then we'll take more time."


• QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who tore ligaments in his left thumb in Sunday's loss in Oakland, will start for the Jets on Sunday .

• The 49ers officially made the change at quarterback from Colin Kaepernick to Blaine Gabbert.

The 49ers (2-6) have failed to score a touchdown three times in the past five games and have been held under 200 yards of offense in four of eight games.

Kaepernick completed 59.9 percent of his passes for just 6.6 yards per attempt, with six TDs, five interceptions and a career-low 78.8 passer rating.

•The Lions put linebacker DeAndre Levy on injured reserve after he was limited to one game this season because of hip trouble.

•Rams backup running back Trey Watts was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.